We stand on the shoulders of Christians who, over the centuries, sought and encouraged times of silence and solitude. During this time of quarantine, here are my suggestions for maintaining, and even growing, our relationship with God:
Those who have been saved by Jesus are left with a common call: be citizens of his kingdom in our present world. Our faith is spilled out in our actions. This is not in an attempt to save ourselves, but to be ambassadors of Jesus’ kingdom.
Imagine, if you will, yourself on the shores of the river Jordan. Down by the river is a man—long-haired, dressed in camel skin—yelling at the top of his lungs.
But we wait with the hope of Advent. We await the time when Jesus’s reassurance to those Christians who would endure the fall of Jerusalem will be entirely fulfilled: “Your redemption is drawing near.”
As daytime shortens, our ensuing depression causes us a struggle to function or to find any joy in our relationships, even with God… Perhaps this is why it is appropriate that Halloween falls at the cusp of such a season.
When you take a trip, you hope to bring something back with you — to somehow be changed by your experience… Ultimately, what I took from my visit to Ireland was a bigger, broader view of three things: the world, the Church, and myself.
Transcendence describes something that transports us beyond our physical existence, something whose whole is on another spiritual plane than the sum of its parts.
As any hobbit knows, much of the joy of a good day’s walk comes from the friends who travel by your side.
As I walked along the banks of the River Liffey on the last day of my journey, I think all the energy of the ancient cities I had visited––London, Oxford, and Dublin––began to course their way into me.
What you will be rememberd for most… is not your influence on major figures of the 20th Century, but on the common person for the Kingdom of God.
Unlike your contemporaries, who churned out mostly happy-clappy loves songs to Jesus, you peered into your pain, stared into the darkness of the world, and saw the light of God piercing through that darkness. You used the hurt and brokenness of your life to form art beautiful in all its truthfulness.
But for all of your suffering and broken life, Vincent, I want you to know something: you continually point me back to God. In my darkest moments, I look at your paintings and see all the vibrancy of creation on full display.